St. John the Baptist Catholic Church is a formerly Anglican, now happily Catholic parish in the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter. The Ordinariate is the North American diocese created by Benedict XVI for formerly Anglican parishes like ours. We are obedient to the Magisterium of the Catholic Church in all things. Our beautiful and traditional liturgy, which seeks to preserve elements of Anglicanism within the Catholic Church, is approved by the Vatican for use in the Ordinariate. We are permanently settled in Bridgeport, PA and serve the Philadelphia area.
Above all, we seek to worship and serve God by practicing the catholic and apostolic faith. Our hope is to be a haven of orthodoxy where Episcopalians, Anglicans, other Protestants, and all who seek God may encounter Jesus Christ and enter into the life of His mystical body, the Catholic Church. Roman Catholics and all those in full communion with the Catholic Church are welcome to receive Communion with us.
We believe that Jesus is the incarnate Son of God who died for our sins, and through whom we are reconciled to God and offered a place in heaven. We regard Scripture as God's word, containing all things necessary to salvation and to be understood within the Tradition and the teaching of the Magisterium.
In the midst of all the confusion in the world today, St. John's tries to help people come to God and his Church with all the assistance of the rich Anglican tradition. The faith which has been handed down to us from the apostles is a priceless treasure. We are determined to uphold it, practice it as best we can, and pass it unimpaired to our children.
The parish uses Divine Worship (a missal completed by the Vatican in 2015 for use in the Ordinariates) and the Hymnal 1940. Although our liturgy is sometimes referred to as "Anglican Use", Ordinariate Form (of the Roman Rite) is the most appropriate term. Other expressions of the Roman Rite include the Ordinary Form and Extraordinary Form.
For answers to some common general questions about our liturgy, see our liturgy FAQs. For more detailed information specifically about our Missal, see missal FAQs.
The Blessed John Henry Newman Fellowship and the Church of Saint Michael the Archangel were Anglican communities that entered the Ordinariate in 2014 and 2012, respectively. The two communities merged during Advent 2015. We are extremely grateful to Our Lady of the Assumption (Strafford) and Holy Cross (Mt. Airy), which warmly welcomed us into the Catholic Church and were our homes until we merged and found a permanent home in Bridgeport, PA.
Fr. David Ousley has been a priest in the Philadelphia area since 1983, having previously served parishes in New York and Connecticut. He attended Yale College and Nashotah House Theological Seminary, and holds a Ph.D. in historical theology from the University of Chicago. His publications include Pilgrimage: A Newsletter of Christian Spirituality, The Way of Holiness (published by Latimer House in England), and articles in various magazines, including Touchstone, The Evangelical Catholic, The Church Times, etc. The rectory household includes his wife and, sporadically, his three grown children.
St. John the Baptist Catholic Church--and the entire Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter--is committed to providing a safe environment for all our parishioners, from the youngest to the oldest. As a part of that effort, the Ordinariate has instituted a robust Safe Environment program. St. John's participates fully in that program. We provide mandatory training (including detailed background checks) for all volunteers who work with children. We also provide parents with materials to use in discussing safe environment issues with their own children.
If you would like to read about the Ordinariate's Safe Environment Policy in detail, it is available here. If you have any questions about the Safe Environment program and its implementation at SJB, please contact us.